Chicken, Three Ways (including “The Soup”)

Chicken, Three Ways (including “The Soup”)

Let’s talk about a kitchen victory like no other: using one thing for multiple purposes.

This is not a new revelation. The New York Times is not going to call me to discuss my groundbreaking use of poultry. This is, however, the first time I’ve:

  1. Bought a whole chicken and roasted it for dinner
  2. Roasted the carcass* to make chicken stock
  3. Used the stock to make soup

I felt like a pioneer. I never watched Little House on the Prairie, but it seemed like Laura Ingalls Wilder would have been proud.

It all started with a real chicken from a real farmer purchased on a weekend run to the Broad Street Market. That chicken became Slow-Roasted Chicken With All The Garlic, which was so lovely, especially when accompanied by thin-sliced rosemary potatoes and shaved Brussels sprouts. Leftover chicken made an appearance in salads over the next few days, with plenty still available to serve in the real reason we’re all here: the soup.

More on that in a minute.

I made chicken stock loosely based on this recipe and felt like I was unlocking all sorts of achievement levels because really, who makes their own chicken stock?

*Let’s pause here to return to the asterisk above and discuss the idea of “roasting a carcass,” which makes me feel more like a viking than Ma Ingalls. I don’t actually have anything to discuss, other than a desire for a different chicken stock vernacular, so please talk amongst yourselves if you have strong feelings on the subject, too. 

Except when I went to use the chicken stock the next day, it had turned into chicken jello. Which is just all kinds of unnerving. So I turned to Google and asked about the situation with a rising sense of panic that I was neither a viking nor a pioneer… I was Rachel making the traditional English trifle.

Much to my surprise, I learned that jello is a good thing in the world of stocks. Apparently it’s what happens when all of the collagen cooks out of the bones (#viking). So, that’s gross, but whatever, the stock was a winner.

So, the soup. I’ve probably made it at least half a dozen times since January. I’ve legitimately made it twice in the past week. It has come to be known and requested not by it’s full name, but just as “The Soup” like it’s Cher or Bono or something.

The Soup is actually called Mulligatawny Soup, and this recipe is the variation I’ve arrived at from the original. My friend Lindsey, who named this blog several years before I actually made it a real thing also sent me this recipe several years before I actually made it, which makes me think that I should probably heed her wisdom much sooner in the future.

(She also says to make Chicken Braised in Milk, which will be the fourth way chicken will be prepared in the month of March.)

Here’s what you’re going to need to make The Soup happen:

  • 3-4 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 10-12 oz mirepoix (just sell out and get the pre-chopped carrots, celery, and onions in one container from the grocery store)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1-2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1-2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • Squeeze of lemon
  • About 8 cups of chicken broth/stock (when I’m not a pioneer, I just buy two boxes of low sodium broth)
  • 1/2 apple
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • bunch of kale
  • any other vegetables you want
  • 1/4 cup uncooked white rice
  • 1 cup cooked chicken
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup cream

Sautee the chopped carrots, celery, and onions in about 2-3 tablespoons of coconut oil for five minutes or so. Then add in another tablespoon of coconut oil, 2-3 cloves of fresh minced garlic, about a tablespoon of curry powder, a teaspoon each of smoked paprika and cayenne, a decent helping of salt and pepper, and a squeeze of lemon, and sautee all of that together for another five minutes. Then add the chicken broth. I usually start with about 6 cups of broth. Bring it to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes.

While that’s simmering, chop up half an apple, half a red pepper, and a good bunch of kale, plus whatever else you want to get rid of in your fridge. Seriously. I’ve put all of the things in this soup. I usually also pan fry two chicken breasts most of the way and then cut them up into small pieces at this point, too, but feel free to use whatever chicken/chicken cooking method you want.

Once the base has simmered for 30 minutes, add in all of the above paragraph, plus 1/4 cup white rice, plus the remaining chicken stock. Simmer for another 30 minutes or so.

At this point, post-simmering, add in a can of coconut milk and about 1/4 cup cream. You probably don’t need both, but I’ve tried it with just coconut milk and just cream and I like it best with both combined. You definitely need one or the other. The one time I made it without enough cream was a total fail.

This is also your opportunity to adjust seasonings, at which point I pretty much add in more of everything.

And then, behold, The Soup is finished.

It doesn’t look like much, but neither do most of the best things in life.

You can let it sit and simmer for longer if you like. I’m a fan of making it in the morning or afternoon and letting it sit (not simmering) until dinner. Soups always tend to benefit from extra bonding time. As far as carbohydrate sides go, I’m sure a nice crusty bread or buttery naan would be nice, but I’m partial to Mission tortilla chips.

Not much about my life at 30 looks like I thought it would (and that’s probably a good thing). But I always wanted to become the kind of person who knows a recipe by heart and can whip it up at a moment’s notice if someone stops by for dinner. This is the first actual recipe (i.e. not salad) that accomplishes that goal, which means my 30-year-old badge should be coming in the mail any day now.

Probably right alongside my Viking Pioneer badge.

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